Whilst the football world was preoccupied with the discovery that 'tiki taka' is actually the sound Spaniards make when they snore, the Swans underwent a significant makeover.
Brendan Rodgers departure has been eased somewhat by the impressive appointment of Danish legend and top-five best ever player Michael Laudrup. Aside from making me a little bit richer (I put a small amount on Laudrup when he was still 25/1, having mentioned what a great fit he'd be in an earlier blog), the move shows what progress Swansea City have made.
Laudrup is a top football name in any walk of the game, and immediately becomes the most recognisable and successful footballer to be associated with the club. With all due respect to Brendan, it's a bit like being dumped by the hot girl from the office only to find yourself dating Christina Hendricks a couple of weeks later.
Plenty has been said about Laudrup's obvious quality as a player (how many other players could have an hour and 23 minute long video of them just passing and make it entertaining?), but it is obviously his managerial savvy which Swans fans will be most interested in now.
Well, here's some video of the kind of thing we might expect. This is Brondby (in yellow and blue), managed by Laudrup, in a seven-nil demolition. The first few goals seem fairly routine, but watch from 1:38, and you'll see some of the wicked team movement which the Danish international teams featuring Laudrup as a player were known for - the style Laudrup now coaches.
If this is the kind of thing Laudrup will be wanting to bring to Swansea, then we should be in safe hands. Laudrup's style was always going to fit - wikipedia describes it as 'a 4–2–3–1 formation, depending on two fast wingers and with the aim to dominate games with a short-passing possession game', which ought to sound quite familiar to Swans fans.
The biggest difference (on the admittedly scant evidence of that video clip) seems to be that Laudrup will look to get the ball forward more aggressively than did Rodgers, and one fair knock on the ex-boss is that Rodgers' Swans could sometimes look ponderous and slow - playing the kind of possession football a team uses to preserve a lead, only without the lead.
Laudrup's strategy appears to be more attack minded. For example, in the video there are at least four players in the box for each of the fifth, sixth and seventh goals. Set-pieces aside, the only time last year's Swans had four players in the opponents’ box was when they were celebrating a goal.
Taking all this on board and reading into press conferences with Laudrup, my guess is that we can expect to see the Swans usual game, only faster and with a bit more attacking purpose, and that's no bad thing.
Next time I'll be looking at some of the Swans' and Laudrup's transfer targets, most notably Jonathan de Guzman and Chico.
I'm really happy he has made his first two signings that could really help us and it only cost us £2M. I have a great feeling about this man and the money from the Premier League is really changing the club.
Given that we are now upgrading the infrastructure, new Youth Academy and Training Facility, I would like to think that even if we do get relegated then we are in a position to bounce back into the Premier League.
As has been the pattern with the Swans for some time now, the club is continuing to use it's money wisely, and the new infrastructure developments will stand the club in good stead for years to come. As for the signings, it is a boon for the Swans that Laudrup has been able to complete deals for familiar players so quickly - just one of the benefits of bringing in an establish, respected manager. M
Post your comment
Max Hicks is a writer, musician and former Sunday League left winger. Despite never playing professionally, Hicks has walked onto the hallowed turf of the old Vetch field in full Swansea whites... as a mascot. These days, when not writing, he plays in defence in a weekly jumpers-for-goalposts kickaround.